The association of fibrillary glomerulonephritis (FGN) with monoclonal gammopathy has been controversial, although monotypic FGN is currently classified as a monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance (MGRS) lesion. To define this lesion, we correlated findings by immunofluorescence on frozen and paraffin tissue, IgG subtype staining and serum protein electrophoresis with immunofixation in patients with monotypic FGN. Immunofluorescence was performed on paraffin sections from 35 cases of DNAJB9-associated FGN that showed apparent light chain restriction of glomerular IgG deposits by standard immunofluorescence on frozen tissue. On paraffin immunofluorescence, 15 cases (14 lambda and one kappa restricted cases on frozen tissue immunofluorescence) showed no light chain restriction, 19 showed similar light chain restriction, and one was negative for both light chains. Seven of the 15 cases with masked polyclonal deposits also had IgG subclass restriction and these cases would have been diagnosed as a form of monoclonal protein-associated glomerulonephritis if paraffin immunofluorescence was not performed. Monotypic FGN (confirmed by paraffin immunofluorescence and IgG subclass restriction) accounted for only one of 151 (0.7%) patients with FGN encountered during the last two years. Only one of 11 of cases had a detectable circulating monoclonal protein on serum protein electrophoresis with immunofixation. We propose that paraffin immunofluorescence is required to make the diagnosis of lambda-restricted monotypic FGN as it unmasked polytypic deposits in over half of patients. When confirmed by paraffin immunofluorescence and IgG subclass staining, DNAJB9-positive monotypic FGN is very rare and is not associated with monoclonal gammopathy in the vast majority of patients. Thus, there is a question whether this lesion should be included in MGRS-related diseases.
- monoclonal fibrillary glomerulonephritis
- monoclonal gammopathy
- paraffin immunofluorescence
- pronase immunofluorescence
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